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September 02, 2020

New ABA Legal Fact Check explores legalities of federal forces sent to cities, polling places

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2020 — A new ABA Legal Fact Check released today explores the legal differences between sending federal forces for security purposes to U.S. cities, such as Portland, Oregon, and to U.S. polling places on Election Day, as suggested last month by President Donald Trump.

The fact check notes that history is replete with situations where federal forces were sent to either keep the peace or ensure the rights of U.S. citizens – from intervening in railroad strikes in the late 19th century through the civil rights movement and the urban riots in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King more than a half century ago. But the new fact check outlines the legal differences in terms of the law when federal forces are sent to protect federal buildings versus providing security at local polling places.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. Recent ABA Legal Fact Checks have explored critical legal issues raised by COVID-19, including employer-employee rights, as well as the broad immunity from civil lawsuits given to police officers who use deadly or excessive force.

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